Over the years, Guyana has demonstrated an amazing capacity to maintain strong relationships with most of its faithful trading partners. At the same time, it demonstrates a commendable aptitude to support its economy with its new, but yet ambitious products.
Further, a statistical overview of the country’s importation profile would reveal that there have been some steady years of inflows with minor fluctuations.
Guyana’s main imports are fuel, food, manufactured products and machinery. Imports into Guyana increased to US$463.60 million in the third quarter of 2014 from US$437.30 million in the second quarter of that year.
It averaged US$397.98 million from 2001, reaching an all time high of US$783.70 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. It recorded a record low of US$194.90 million in the first quarter of 2006.
Guyana’s main import partners are the United States which provides 21 percent of its total imports; Trinidad and Tobago which accounts for 20 percent; China and South Africa providing eight percent, each, and Cuba with six percent.
The country’s foreign exchange market has been fully liberalized since 1991. This liberalization policy has positively affected the overall trade scenario in the country.
Additionally, imports into Guyana are monitored and reported on by two entities; the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Guyana.
In 2014, the country’s Central Bank said that the value of merchandise imports decreased by 7.5 percent or US$68.2 million to US$839.0 million.
It said that this outturn was mainly on account of lower imports of consumption, intermediate, and capital goods.
According to its half year report for 2014, imports in the consumption goods sub-category (SEE TABLE) amounted to US$186.9 million, 7.2 percent orUS$14.5 million less than the 2013 corresponding level.
The Central Bank found that all items within this subcategory decreased,with the most notable being a decline in nondurable goods, and other durable goods of US$5.8 million and US$2.8 million respectively.
In the intermediate goods sub-category, imports declined by 3.3 percent or US$16.1 million to US$476.1 million.
This position was mainly due to declines in chemicals, parts and accessories, and textiles and clothing by US$20.5 million, US$8.9 million, and US$0.1 million respectively.
The Bank of Guyana noted, however, that fuel and lubricants, other intermediate goods and food for intermediate use recorded increases of US$6.9 million, US$3.6 million and US$2.9 million, respectively.
Further, imports in the sub-category of capital goods declined by 17.7 percent or US$37.0 million to US$171.9 million.
The importation of nearly all types of capital goods recorded a decline, with the most notable being a US$17.1 million reduction in agricultural machinery.
However, imports for mining machinery saw an increase of US$3.6 million as shown in Table VIII.
For 2013, the value of merchandise imports decreased by 7.5 percent or US$149.4 million to US$1,847.3 million.
This contraction was on account of lower imports in consumption goods, intermediate goods, and capital goods. In the consumption goods sub-category, imports amounted to US$437.7 million, 6.1 percent or US$28.2 million below the 2012 level. This position was due to decreases in the value of other durables, clothing and footwear, motor cars, and other non-durable goods by 24.8 percent, 25.0 percent, 10.2 percent, and 2.9 percent respectively.
However, other semi-durable goods, beverages and tobacco, and food for final consumption increased by 9.5 percent, 2.3 percent, and 1.5 percent correspondingly. In the sub-category of capital goods, imports decreased by 9.7 percent or US$44.7 million to US$415.2 million. This was due to a reduction in imports of mining machinery by 40.6 percent, other capital goods by 40.0 percent, and agricultural machinery by 20.2 percent.
Higher imports were realized in the categories of industrial machinery, building machinery, and transport machinery by 45.8 percent, 4.2 percent, and 3.7 percent respectively.